Parents disapprove of the idea of their children starting a business 

Only 11 per cent of parents would actively encourage their child to take an entrepreneurial path, according to a study.

The people of Liverpool, Manchester and London look at self-employment with the most favourable eye, with 46 per cent, 45 per cent and 42 per cent of respondents from the respective cities ‘strongly agreeing’ that entrepreneurship is an important contribution to the economy.

However, even in areas where entrepreneurship is viewed favourably, the survey by freelancer marketplace PeoplePerHour reveals that only 11 per cent of parents say that they would actively encourage their children to take that path, with 7 per cent saying that they would actively discourage it.

The reason given for the ambivalent attitude is that entrepreneurship is viewed as coming with three major lifestyle headaches: unreliable cash flow, a lack of pension, and the stress of having full responsibility and no safety net.

However, those headaches are viewed as being offset by freedom and flexibility, for those who exhibit an aptitude.

Respondents recognise the same qualities required for making a success of entrepreneurship. When asked what the most important factor in entrepreneurial success respondents answered self-belief (32 per cent), money or funding (31 per cent), passion (19 per cent), and good connections (10 per cent).

Just 8 per cent of respondents think education is the most important factor.

PeoplePerHour founder Xenios Thrasyvoulou says that self-employment and entrepreneurship in the UK has reached new heights in the last few years, but that it’s interesting to see that the wider population doesn’t necessarily view it as a stable career choice.

‘Our research has shown that the vast majority of people who have started working for themselves would find it inconceivable to return to the PAYE system, but it’s clear that taking that step is still something that is viewed as engendering risk. Not everyone could happily embrace that risk,’ he adds.

‘Despite this, our most recent survey has shown that 62 per cent of people believe that there has been a shift in views when it comes to the UK workforce, and that the recent peak in entrepreneurship is not just a bubble, but rather here to stay.

‘From my work with PeoplePerHour, this is a view that I have to share.’

Further reading on entrepreneurship

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

Related Topics

Starting a business